PATIENTS are being encouraged to get clued-up on health services after a survey revealed many were not accessing the right treatment.
A national campaign has been launched to raise awareness about NHS services including pharmacies, walk-in centres and helplines after a study last month showed 50% of the weekly visitors to Dewsbury District Hospital's accident and emergency department did not need to be there.
The move comes after a national survey also revealed one in 10 people did not have a first aid kit at home and showed men were five times more likely than women to call 999 for a sore or swollen ankle.
John Ford, director of quality and excellence for North Kirklees primary care trust, said: "With A&E attendances going up 5% year on year it is important for campaigns like this to be successful.
"It won't change people's attitudes to their care overnight, but over time we hope local people will start to think about their choices."
He issued the following guidelines to encourage people to help themselves:
* Keep basic first aid items such as painkillers, bandages and treatments for indigestion and diarrhoea at home.
* Have a free flu jab if you are over 65 or suffer from asthma or diabetes.
NHS Direct can be contacted on 0845 4647 or people can go online for health information at www.nhs direct.co.uk